Skip to Main Content
This paper presents a study on the influence of nonideal sampling in asynchronous Q-factor monitoring. An overestimation of the Q-factor of signals impaired with optical noise may occur if the averaging effects due to nonideal sampling affect only the noise component of the monitored signal. It is shown that this problem can be rectified using a correction factor, dependent only on the receiver parameters. This allows reasonable Q-factor estimates using sampling systems with aperture times close to the monitored signal bit period. Nonideal sampling may also affect the signal component of the monitored signal. For such cases, a novel and accurate technique is presented to estimate the Q factor using asynchronous histograms, which takes into account changes in the shape of the monitored signal due to averaging effects. Numerical simulations are used to evaluate the proposed technique achieving Q-factor estimates within a 14% error margin, independently of the sampling aperture for the considered range. Distortion affecting the signal due to the transmission system can also be handled by the new technique presented in this paper. It is verified that the impact of intersymbol interference due to chromatic dispersion or electrical filtering in the receiver on the performance of the system is well reflected by the estimated Q factor.